This is a rather touchy subject at the moment amongst South Africans (or, at the very least, a bunch of students that apparently attend UCT lectures when they are not lowering themselves to throwing actual human poop onto a statue) – the statue of Cecil John Rhodes on the Jameson steps of UCT.
Last week saw a minority of students out of a possible 25 000 wreck havoc on campus and completely ignore this country’s history (be it good or bad). Those students are demanding that the statue of Rhodes be removed because it reminds everyone of what a terrible thing the white people have done over the decades. The students have marched and have promised to keep on picketing until they receive an adequate answer.
According to EWN, they are also prepared to discuss the issue with UCT management.
30 students marched this week into the Beattie Building, having a heated confrontation with Dr Azila Talit Reisenberger, who is a religious studies lecturer. Dr Reisenberger asked them to lower their voices as they were “singing loudly and chanting inside the building”.
UCT Vice-Chancellor Max Price says an urgent council meeting will be held next month to consider the removal of the statue.
In the meantime, Rhodes has been covered in black bin bags.
The EFF is backing the UCT Rhodes Poo throwers, saying that “Rhodes can never be a symbol worth celebrating in a post-1994 South Africa”. They have also, in the past, “called for the removal of symbols of colonialism and white supremacy”. Well that’s a good team to have on your side, poop throwers.
Two people who commented on THIS ARTICLE actually make quite a bit of sense, with one asking if we should all just pretend that South African history never happened. Also, let us not forget the Rhodes Scholarship, that is funded from Rhodes’ estate, allowing international students the chance to study at Oxford University. His thoughts behind the scholarship?
Rhodes’ goals in creating the Rhodes Scholarships were to promote civic-minded leadership amongst young people with “moral force of character and instincts to lead”, and to help “render war impossible” through promoting understanding between the great powers.
That doesn’t sound like a bad idea considering the state of the world.
According to Cape Talk and Dr Price, the SRC has so far refused “to partake in any discussions on the matter and are simply demanding that a date be set for the statue’s removal”. Sorry, students, but that’s not the way the world works.
Listen to the Deputy Vice Chancellor at UCT Prof. Crain Soudien and the SRC’s chair of Transformation Thato Pule to get both views on the story.
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